It's been just over three months since Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died alongside seven overs in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, Calif. Friday, May 1 would have been Gianna's—known by many as Gigi—14th birthday and her mother, Vanessa paid tribute to her late daughter.
"Happy 14th Birthday to my sweet baby girl, Gianna," she wrote in an Instagram post. "Mommy loves you more than I can ever show you. You are part of MY SOUL forever. I miss you so much everyday. I wish I could wake up and have you here with me. I miss your smile, your hugs and your giggles. I miss EVERYTHING about YOU, Gigi. I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!!!"
In a second post Friday, Vanessa added that Gianna loved to wear a red bow tie in school pictures. Vanessa urged those to commemorate Gigi's birthday by wearing red.
Gigi aspired to one day play in the WNBA and she often told her father, Kobe, that she wanted to play college basketball at UConn. In the Huskies' game in the days following the crash, the school paid tribute to the younger Bryant with a touching tribute.
At the 2020 WNBA draft in mid-March, Gigi, along with her Mamba Academy teammates Alyssa Altobelli and Payton Chester were named as honorary picks to open the event.
The WNBA also announced the creation of The Kobe and Gianna Bryant WNBA Advocacy Award that "will recognize an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the visibility, perception and advancement of women’s and girls’ basketball at all levels," per the league's official release.